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Georgia Tech keeps recruiting focus in-state

ATLANTA -- Coach Paul Johnson is hardly concerned that two national Internet recruiting services give a low ranking to Georgia Tech's 2010 class.

That's because the Yellow Jackets, who won the Atlantic Coast Conference in Johnson's second season, signed each of the 18 players who had verbally committed as seniors.

''We didn't lose anybody,'' Johnson said Wednesday. ''We managed to sign every kid that committed, and we were able to add some quality guys at the end.''

As of early Wednesday night, Scout.com ranked Georgia Tech No. 40 nationally, No. 6 in the ACC. Rivals.com listed the Yellow Jackets 43rd nationally, eighth in the conference.

''I don't know how anybody could attempt to rate a recruiting class,'' Johnson said. ''I've been doing this for 30 years for a living and if somebody can tell me who's the No. 27 offensive guard in the country, there's no way. You'll have a better idea in three or four years how many guys panned out and how many guys played.''

According to Scout.com, Georgia Tech signed three four-star recruits -- cornerback Ryan Ayers of South Paulding High School in Douglasville, defensive tackle Shawn Green of Grayson and cornerback Louis Young of Olney, Md.

Rivals listed five four-star players -- Ayers, Young, specialist B.J. Bostic of Jefferson High in Louisville, defensive tackle Denzel McCoy of Northview High in Duluth, and defensive end Anthony Williams of Union Grove High in McDonough.

The highest level of ranking for Scout.com and Rivals.com is five-star.

Johnson indicated that Bostic and Synjyn Days of Hillgrove High in Powder Springs could help at several positions. The Yellow Jackets recruited Days as a quarterback, though he might get a look at linebacker or safety, too.

Bostic could play cornerback or slot receiver or possibly return punts and kickoffs.

The 2010 class marks the second straight year that 14 Georgia Tech signees are in-state. Last February, the Yellow Jackets signed more players from Georgia than they had in nearly 20 years.

Williams, McCoy and Ayers are from high schools in the Atlanta suburbs. They are among 10 defensive players that will play under new coordinator Al Groh.

''We wanted to make it a huge prior when we came here,'' Johnson said. ''We feel like we're very thorough in the state. We feel like we identified some really good players early.''

Johnson led Georgia Tech over Clemson for the ACC title in December. After losing the Orange Bowl to Iowa last month, the Yellow Jackets were ranked No. 13 in The Associated Press' final poll.

Despite the departure last week of recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach Giff Smith, Johnson said the transition went smoothly.

Smith left to join former Tech coach Chan Gailey's new staff with the Buffalo Bills.

Groh, who is changing the Jackets' defensive front from a 4-3 to a 3-4, oversees the line.

''Giff (did) a great job as defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator,'' I talked to defensive line recruits (after Smith left). It was not a factor.''